Lamprey gonadotropin releasing-hormone (LGnRH)-III, a hypothalamic neurohormone recently isolated from sea lamprey, was reported to have a selective stimulatory effect on follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) release in rats and suggested to be the mammalian FSH-releasing factor. In this study, we determined the relative luteinizing hormone (LH)- and FSH-releasing potency of LGnRH-III compared to mammalian gonadotropin-releasing hormone (LHRH) in normal female rats, ovariectomized (OVX) and oestrogen/progesterone substituted rats and the superfused rat-pituitary cell system. The specificity of LGnRH-III for the mammalian LHRH receptor was investigated by blocking the receptor with an LHRH antagonist, MI-1544. In vitro, LGnRH-III dose-dependently stimulated both LH and FSH secretion from rat pituitary cells at 10-7 to 10-5 M concentrations, while LHRH stimulated gonadotropin secretion at a 1000-fold lower doses (10-10 to 10-8 M). The difference between its LH- and FSH-releasing potency was similar to that of LHRH. LGnRH-III bound to high affinity binding sites on rat pituitary cells with a Kd of 6.7 nm, Bmax=113±27 fmol/mg protein. In vivo, LGnRH-III also stimulated both LH and FSH secretion in a dose-dependent manner and, similar to LHRH, induced a greater rise in the serum LH than the FSH level. In normal cycling rats, it showed 180-650-fold weaker potency than LHRH in stimulating LH secretion and 70-80-fold weaker effect in stimulating FSH secretion. In OVX rats, LGnRH-III demonstrated a similarly weak effect on both gonadotropins. It was found to be 40-210-fold less potent than LHRH regarding LH release and 50-160-fold weaker regarding FSH release. LHRH-receptor antagonist MI-1544 prevented both the LH- and the FSH-releasing effect of LGnRH-III both in vitro and in vivo. These results do not support the hypothesis that LGnRH-III might be the mammalian FSH-releasing factor but demonstrate that it is a weak agonist for the pituitary LHRH receptor and stimulates both gonadotropins in a dose-dependent fashion.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience